The need for an aortic valve replacement requiring open heart surgery in late 2015 came as a shock to Bob Eadie. Cardiac rehabilitation post-surgery introduced Bob to a physical wellness program incorporating weekly gym sessions at the local community health centre where he found himself surrounded by a group of women who turned out to be “good buddies” at the end of the day. “I found that it (the sessions) improved my cardiac capability and my strength, and I looked forward to heading down every Wednesday afternoon”.
Following that Bob was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. After 6 months of extensive chemotherapy and exposure to a new drug, Bob went into remission where he has stayed for almost 5 years and considers himself “very fortunate”. “I did as a result miss some gym sessions because there were some downsides to chemotherapy. It seriously knocks your body around so your capacity to do normal things is limited for a number of weeks. But as soon as I could, I immediately got back into the gym sessions”. During COVID bike riding and walking became regular activities to fill the void of the group sessions which have not yet recommenced.
After a hectic career in the entertainment industry, retirement created some mental stress and dramatic life adjustments. During his transition to retirement Bob coordinated an outreach and volunteer program for the organisation he worked for, in somewhat of a mentoring role for disadvantaged youth in the area. This opportunity opened doors and allowed Bob to meet people he wouldn’t otherwise have met. Now a member of the WAWSO’s (We All Were Something Once), a group of retired gentlemen who meet on a regular basis with specific skill sets and community connections, they have committed to raising $90,000 over a 3-year period to fund a cancer researcher at Geelong University Hospital. So far over $60,000 has been raised with the third event to take place later this year.
Bob’s health issues have seen him scale down to a smaller home with a smaller garden and as a car enthusiast, reduce his collection. Overall though Bob’s reflection is “I am extremely happy. I think I am well adjusted…I’m not sure!” and offers the following advice:
“It is absolutely important upon retirement or upon meeting a major change in your life, that 2 things are a must:
- Maintain social interaction with people. Become involved in something you are comfortable with that forces you to go out socially to interact with people week in, week out.
- Depending on the severity of your health situation, pick up and take on some form of regular exercise to the best of your ability and keep that going for as long as you can.
I think those two things are key for not only a successful adjustment for the next stage of your life but also a healthy and ongoing one”.
#LifeChanges #KeepMoving #StayActive #humansingeelong
Photo: Phil Hines Photography
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